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The South Penghu Marine National Park was set up in 2014, with the scope including Dongjiyu, Xijiyu, Dongyuping Island, Xiyuping Island as well as affiliated islands within the periphery on the sea area to the east of Wangan and Qimei. When setting foot on mesa island, endless grassland stretches as far as the eye can see. Herbal plants is a type of absolute natural existence at South Penghu Marine National Park. In 2015, we have conducted analytical researches for phase succession of plants at South Penghu Marine National Park, and further gathered the research outcomes to publish the e-book "Illustrated Handbook for Plants at South Penghu Marine National Park", hoping that when the readers have the opportunity to visit South Penghu Marine National Park in the future, they may also admire these inconspicuous yet very beautiful flowers and grasses in the wildlands other than the plentiful marine ecology.

 

The red box represents the scope of South Penghu Marine National Park.
The red box represents the scope of South Penghu Marine National Park.

 

About Illustrated Handbook for Plants at South Penghu Marine National Park

This book gathers 62 types of commonly seen as well as rare plants at South Penghu Marine National Park, which are differentiated and introduced according to different types of habitats, including beach plants, aquatic plants and mesa tableland plants. Other than the feature descriptions for the plant types, it also contains exquisite ecological photos for reference, and at the end of the book, it also provides a checklist and distribution list for the vascular plant species at South Penghu Marine National Park, as a comparison reference for visitors to South Penghu Marine National Park, to experience the ecological and evolutionary wisdom demonstrated by the plants at South Penghu Marine National Park through this text written with obvious love and eminent expertise.

 

Front Cover for Illustrated Handbook for Plants at South Penghu Marine National Park.
Front Cover for Illustrated Handbook for Plants at South Penghu Marine National Park.

 

Majority of the Plants on South Penghu Marine National Park are Beach Plants and Grassland Plants

Influenced by the terrain, soil and climate, the South Penghu Marine National Park has developed salt-enduring, wind-resisting and drought-enduring beach plant characteristics, offering rare magnificent scenery in Taiwan with the beautiful grasslands landscape together with the azure ocean and sky. It is currently the timely rainfall of spring and summer, such that cute flowers including Glossocardia bidens, Tephrosia ionophlebia and Evolvulus alsinoides…etc. embellish the green grasslands like fairies. Amongst these, Glossocardia bidens are also known as Glossogyne tenuifolia in Penghu, where local residents would roast Glossogyne tenuifolia to make tea, which is known as the thirst-quenching “Penghu green grass tea” popular during the hot summer season. However, since Glossocardia bidens is classified as a vulnerable species (VU) in the "A Preliminary Red List of Taiwanese Vascular Plants", hence careful protection is still required.

 

Evolvulus alsinoides (left) and Glossocardia bidens (right) embellish the green grasses like fairies.
Evolvulus alsinoides (left) and Glossocardia bidens (right) embellish the green grasses like fairies.

 

Peculiar and Endangered Plants

According to the “Preliminary Red List of Taiwanese Vascular Plants” from 2012, there are 14 types of IUCN endangered categories that are close to above near threatened (NT), amongst these, Digitaria heterantha and Centipeda minima are endangered species (EN), which are only distributed in Dongyuping Island, Xijiyu and Chutou Island, with an estimated quantity of approximately 100 plants only. As for the uninhabited Xijiyu, the quantity is more as compared to Dongyuping Island and Chutou Island, probably due to less man-made interferences. As for Tribulus taiwanense which is endemic to Taiwan, it is currently only discovered at Dongyuping Island; also, Rostellularia procumbens var. hirsuta and Cassia sophora L. var. penghuana are Taiwanese endemic species as well.

 

Close-up shot of the Digitaria heterantha flower in the illustrated book.
Close-up shot of the Digitaria heterantha flower in the illustrated book.

 

First Public Presentation of the Illustrated Book for Plants at South Penghu Marine National Park

The e-book for this illustrated book was publically presented for the first time in the “2017 Annual Conservation Research Outcomes Presentation for Marine National Park Headquarters” on May 3, 2017, so that more people may also enjoy it through the internet. We have also placed this e-book in the “Multi-media Section/E-Books” section on the institution’s website, you are welcome to link to and make use of it.

In 2017, we will continue to organize multi-directional conservation researches towards Dongsha Atoll National Park and South Penghu Marine National Park, including fish fauna, coastal invertebrates, large-scale algae, as well as investigative tasks such as the history of development. The outcomes of this research will be presented in 2018. The event will invite experts to participate and share the national parks’ conservation research outcomes, to learn together about the importance of ecological conservation, as well as the endeavors from the national parks.

 

 

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